Understanding a Different point of View

I did 2 different things this week; I talked to my parents about cultural communications in schools, and I looked at some different resources we had.

Our group decided to talk to people around us to get a sense of some perspectives. When I talked to my parents I wanted to see what they knew about this topic, and what they thought about it.  They both did not know a whole lot about this topic, but they agreed that it is an important topic. My mom new a little bit about the refugee resettlement program and Association of African living in Vermont, because they contact her because of her job.

It was hard to talk about this topic a lot with them, because they did not know a whole lot about it. So, I think that some of the change we would be looking for is educating people on this topic. Just because we do not see it on the news a lot (like my last topic the Opioid Epidemic) does not mean it is very important.

Last week in out “meeting” we were talking about how our long term goal might be to put people in the shoes of other’s. I think by doing that it we could educate people on how hard it is to resettle in Vermont, and how hard it is to be a ELL student, and how to help.  For research this week I decided to look more into the perspectives of some people who were in that situation.

Notes from:

Hate Crime Victim  Fatuma Bulle Advocates for Refugee Women and Family’s

  • Even in Vermont here is some hatred
  • Important for refugees to “engage with the community’s”, try to  integrate
  • Place they fled from might have been scary, but in Vermont people can be harsh and mean
  • Bulle had many hardships
    • Resettling in a different country
    • Single Mother (after hard divorce)
    • Skin color and religion (hate from the man about calling her a “terrorist”)
    • Scary memories
  • People are curios about the “hijab”

From Comments:

  • Nice gestures, like Hi goes a long way.

My thoughts:

  • More people with different cultures in Vermont the less people will think about the differences between each other
  • We have to think about how other people are feeling when interacting with them
  • We need to embrace the differences in cultures when new Vermonter’s come

Notes From:

Article about three New American women in VT

  • Sandrine Kibuey: “Focusing on improving the living conditions of anyone in need”
  • Aline Mukiza: “Helps young Burundians Preserve their cultural identity while adapting to Vermont”
  • Diversity in Vermont is a “work in progress”
  • Hard to find/ get good jobs
  • A lot of refugees in Winooski and Burlington.

My thoughts:

  •  It would be really interesting to get in touch with Aline Mukiza because what she is doing is similar to what we are looking at.
  • Winooski and Burlington seem to have a good program for ELL students
  • I can’t imagine trying to find a job in a new country that you can barely speak the language. When it is hard to get a job when you can speak the language.
  • Hopefully we can help Vermont welcome diversity, through this program by helping ELL students.



Petra Kapsalis

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